Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
TORONTO – Britain has issued a new warning for LGBT travellers who are considering visiting North Carolina and Mississippi, two states that have seen their fair share of backlash in recent months for passing anti-gay laws.
According to Huffington Post, the British Foreign Office encourages LGBT travellers to avoid potentially risky situations and “excessive physical shows of affection,” and to “exercise discretion” in rural areas.
In the advisory, its states: “The U.S. is an extremely diverse society and attitudes towards LGBT people differ hugely across the country. LGBT travellers may be affected by legislation passed recently in the states of North Carolina and Mississippi. Before traveling please read our general travel advice for the LGBT community.”
The advisory also provided links to the Human Rights Campaign website as well as to a world map produced by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association that highlights countries with anti-LGBT legislation.
North Carolina passed a controversial piece of legislation last month that repealed all local ordinances banning discrimination against LGBT people in the state, and banned transgender people from using certain public restrooms.
This was followed shortly after with a signed legislation by Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, which allows businesses to deny services to gay couples based on religious objections.
In response, several companies, including PayPal, Pepsi and Hewlett Packard, not to mention a slew of entertainers like Bruce Springsteen and Bryan Adams, declared their disapproval of the new laws by withdrawing business and investment plans as well as cancelling concerts and shows. As a result, North Carolina has reportedly lost millions in lost tourism revenue since the law passed.